Update #30 - Tuesday, October 9 - 1:30 pm
Additional Hurricane Florence Updates as Warranted
This update is a periodic update on the Town's recovery efforts associated with Hurricane Florence. Additional updates will be distributed periodically as new information becomes available that may be helpful to our residents, property owners, businesses, and visitors.
Please note that the official information from the Town of Emerald Isle is always posted at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ (click on "Latest News" in the bottom left hand corner of the main page), and the most recent post regarding Florence contains accurate information. As additional information becomes available that is new, different, or updated, it will be distributed through all of the Town's digital platforms and posted on the Town's website.
Comprehensive Summary of Hurricane Florence Impacts, Status of Recovery Efforts Available Online
A summary report outlining the Town's response to Hurricane Florence, the known impacts to Town facilities and infrastructure, recovery efforts, and ideas for consideration in planning for future storm events will be presented to the Board of Commissioners at the October 9 meeting. A copy of this report is available for public viewing at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Memo-10-09-2018-Item-14 .
Michael Could Impact Emerald Isle Later This Week
Hurricane Michael is currently forecast to make landfall along the Florida panhandle sometime on Wednesday, and is expected to continue to move north through North Carolina later this week. According to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, Emerald Isle could receive tropical storm force winds (40 - 50 mph +/-) on Thursday and Friday, with 2 - 3 inches of rain currently forecast for our area.
Obviously, more rain and high winds are the last things any of us want to see in Emerald Isle, with many structures still damaged from Florence and the water table still highly elevated. The Town is hopeful that no new street flooding issues will occur as a result of Michael's rain, but will take delivery of 3 brand new portable storm water pumps today or tomorrow, and these pumps will be added to the 6 portable pumps the Town already owns. These 9 pumps owned by the Town will be available for deployment if necessary. Additionally, the Town has 4 portable rental pumps available to us immediately if necessary. Finally, all of the Town's 12 fixed pump stations are functioning properly, and, assuming there are no significant power outages these pumps should provide flooding relief in these areas.
We are all praying that none of these pumps will be necessary, however, Town staff will respond in any way necessary as a result of Michael.
Debris Collection Efforts Continue, More Emphasis on Construction & Demolition Debris
The Town's contractor continues to make good progress on debris collection, with approximately 90,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris and approximately 10,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris collected in Emerald Isle thus far. The contractor is approximately 75% complete with the "first pass" for vegetative debris, and the Town expects to announce the start date for the "second pass" (final pass) in the coming days.
The Town remains hopeful that all debris collection associated with Florence will be complete by the end of October. For those of you who have already had the contractors in your neighborhood, please be getting secondary debris together for pick up in the coming days. For those of you who have not already had a pickup occur, thank you for your patience, and please understand that the Town's contractors are working hard to get everyone collected as soon as possible - it's just a huge job. The contractor is currently operating with a total of 17 crews in Emerald Isle.
As reported in previous updates, Emerald Isle residents who do not want to wait for the Town's contractor to collect debris from the street edge may transport their own debris to a temporary disposal site at Western Park off Old NC 58 in Cedar Point. Additionally, Carteret County has now established a procedure for your personal contractor to deliver your personal debris to the County's temporary disposal site on NC 58 near Peletier Loop Road, however, the property owner must complete the form in the following link and have the contractor present the form when disposing of debris - https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/vegetative-storm-debris-self-haul-form.pdf . Please note that there is no disposal fee at the County's temporary disposal site, so your personal contractor should not be charging you a fee for disposal.
For street edge collection by the Town's contractor, please help us complete the collection of debris in the most efficient and safe manner by adhering to the following instructions:
- please create SEPARATE piles at the street edge,
- please create one pile for vegetative debris (trees and limbs), one pile for construction and demolition debris (shingles, siding, plywood, studs, etc.), and one pile for discarded furnishings (carpet, furniture, large personal items),
- tree and limb debris segments should be no longer than 12 feet,
- please place discarded appliances in a separate location at the street edge,
- please avoid placing piles directly under power lines and other overhead utility lines, as this may present a safety hazard to collection crews and may result in a slower collection process,
- do not dispose of household hazardous waste at the street edge, and
- please note that it is illegal to burn debris within the Town.
Please be mindful of your neighbors, and place your debris on the street right-of-way in front of your own property, and not on your neighbor's property. Also, please do not transport your debris to another neighborhood simply because you are impatient, and consider how you would feel if others brought their debris to your neighborhood. Additionally, DO NOT take debris to Town facilities, as these facilities are being used and/or will soon be used by others in our community for their intended purpose.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Rescheduled for October 27
The Coastal Environmental Partnership has rescheduled the household hazardous waste and electronics collection day for Carteret County for Saturday, October 27 from 8 am to 1 pm. The drop-off site is the Carteret County Health Department, located at 3820 Bridges Street in Morehead City.
Emerald Isle residents can dispose of the following items: latex and oil paints, used motor oil, farm pesticides, gasoline, drain openers, paint thinners, cooking oil, antifreeze, batteries, lawn and garden fertilizer, and pesticides.
Items not accepted include: commercial waste, gas cylinders, explosives, ammunition, or infectious, biological, or radioactive waste.
Please visit the following link for more information: http://www.cepnc.org/hazardous-waste.html .
Aerial Mosquito Spraying Completed This Past Friday Night
The County's contractor completed aerial mosquito spraying in many areas of Carteret County, including Emerald Isle, this past Friday night. The Town greatly appreciates these efforts, and believes they have been helpful in reducing the mosquito population.
Town staff will continue to monitor the mosquito population, and will perform ground spraying as warranted in the coming days.
Beach Nourishment Survey Results In
Coastal engineers have completed their analysis of beach erosion in Emerald Isle as a result of Hurricane Florence, and have determined that Emerald Isle lost approximately 2.2 million cubic yards of sand during the storm. Fortunately, there were no breaches of the primary dune, however, nearly all smaller incipient dunes and the recreational beach strand were flattened by storm surge and wave action generated by Florence over 3+ days.
To put this loss in perspective, the Town has placed a total of approximately 4 million cubic yards of sand on the beach in Emerald Isle via 5 previous beach nourishment projects since 2003. Although the beach is in worse condition than it was prior to Florence's arrival on September 13, it remains in better condition than it was after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and prior to the initiation of the Town's beach nourishment program in 2003.
The Town expects to submit a claim to FEMA to replace the entire 2.2 million cubic yards of sand lost during Florence, and will be seeking approximately $40 million for this effort. The Town (in partnership with Carteret County and other nearby towns) strictly conforms to all FEMA guidelines and should be eligible for FEMA assistance. In fact, the Town has previously received a total of approximately $13 million for beach erosion impacts from Hurricanes Isabel, Opehlia, and Irene.
As reported previously, the Town had been planning a significant beach nourishment project for 3 miles of beach in eastern Emerald Isle for this winter, and nearly all permits are in hand for that project. It is likely that the Town will attempt to proceed with this project this winter, and will solicit construction bids later this month. If a reasonable bid is received, and a contract executed, it is likely that nourishment would occur sometime between January and April 2019. If the Town can not execute a contract, this work will be delayed until late 2019 / early 2020.
The Town will be working closely with FEMA in the coming months to secure funding to replace sand lost during Florence, and it is unlikely that a final decision will be made on this issue in time to place sand in other areas of Emerald Isle this winter. The Town will be working diligently with FEMA, Carteret County, and other nearby towns to position the Town for a very large beach nourishment project for other areas in Emerald Isle in late 2019 / early 2020.
Beach Driving Permitted from 7 am - 7 pm Only
Due to the presence of many consolidated debris piles along the dune escarpment, the presence of numerous "gullies" on the beach strand, and the narrow width of the beach strand in certain areas at high tide, the Town is allowing beach driving during daylight hours only until further notice. Beach driving is currently permitted from 7 am - 7 pm only. A decision to revert back to the normal 5 am - 9 pm hours will be considered after all debris is removed from the beach strand. The Town's debris contractor is currently working on the beach strand to collect the consolidated debris piles, and we are hopeful this collection will be complete within the next two weeks.
Key Town Facilities Remain Significantly Impacted
There are no steps to the beach at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access, and there is no safe access to the beach strand. The parking area and bathroom facilities are open.
Emerald Isle Woods Park received extensive damage from Hurricane Florence, and will be closed indefinitely.
McLean-Spell Park also received damage, and should be used at your own risk until tree debris can be removed.
A list of beach accesses that remain open for public use after Hurricane Florence is located at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/public-ocean-accesses-open-post-hurricane-florence . All other accesses not included on this list sustained damage that prevents safe use by the public, and Town staff will be working diligently to complete and/or contract for the necessary repairs in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to make these facilities safe for public use in the coming weeks and months.
Channel Markers for Public Boating Access Facility Repositioned
The NC Wildlife Resources Commission recently repositioned the channel markers in Bogue Sound that lead to the EI Public Boating Access Facility, and all known debris has been removed from the entrance channel. The facility is open for normal use, but caution is advised when boating in this area, and everywhere in Bogue Sound, as it is likely that shoals have shifted and unknown debris may be located on the bottom in unknown areas.
Majority of Bike Path Safe to Use
The vast majority of the NC 58 and Coast Guard Road bike path is now safe to use, with only two locations impaired. The path has not yet been repaired on Coast Guard Road near Sea Dunes where a broken water main was repaired during the storm, and approximately 50 linear feet of the path is sand. A small amount of standing water and debris also remains on the path near Spinnakers Reach. Enjoy the path, but be alert and safe!
The Town works hard to keep our residents, property owners, and visitors well-informed, and offers several platforms.
To receive the most current information from the Town of Emerald Isle, please:
- visit the Town's website at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ,
- check the Town's Facebook page at Town of Emerald Isle, NC,
- follow the Town's Twitter feed: @townemeraldisle,
- sign up for the Town's email newsletter at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/email-text-notifications ,
- sign up for text message alerts at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/email-text-notifications , and/or
- download the Emerald Isle APP at Google Play and The APP Store (search for "emerald isle nc") and enable "push" notifications.